Bleach is a chemical compound that can be used both industrially and domestically for the cleaning of surfaces and removal of stains. It's usually a diluted sodium hypochlorite solution. It can also be commonly referred to as liquid bleach. There are two main bleaches in use; they include oxygen bleach and chlorine bleach.

On the other hand, chlorine is a chemical element with atomic number 17 and the symbol Cl. Chlorine is a yellow-green gas when at room temperature. It's the second lightest halogen and on the periodic table appears between bromine and fluorine.

Chlorine is an oxidizing agent and reacts extremely. It has the third-highest electronegativity and highest electron affinity among the elements.

Chlorine and bleach are often used for the same purposes, however, there is some significant difference between them. These differences range from their strength, chemical properties, and structures. Here in this article, we've described 5 differences that you need to know about bleach and chlorine.

1. Main Chemicals In Bleach And Chlorine.

The main chemical in bleach and chlorine is calcium hypochlorite. In bleach, about 5.25% of chlorine is present in each gallon, the remaining content is just water and a little amount of salt that keeps the chlorine as a liquid. Chlorine contains calcium hypochlorite at a much higher rate.

2. Bleach vs Chlorine: The Stronger Chemical?

The strength of these chemicals is the main difference that abounds between them. Chlorine is the stronger chemical. When applied, a higher amount of bleach is needed to increase the chlorine level of water to the needed point while a lesser amount of chlorine would be used. If you need the same strength of chlorine and water when using bleach, you'd have to increase the bleach and reduce the water.

3. How Is The Structure and PH Different?

Chlorine's atomic number is 17 and it contains 17 electrons and 17 protons in total. These electrons make up 3 electron shells. It's an electron short of a total octet and is a very strong oxidizing agent, it interacts with other elements just to complete the outer shell.

Bleach has an alternating layer of hydrated sodium ions and a water molecules chain flanked by chlorine ions, being held together by a hydrogen bond.

The PH of bleach ranges between 11 and 13. Bleach is corrosive due to its high alkalinity level.

4. Uses: Chlorine Powder vs Bleaching Powder

Another difference that abounds between chlorine and bleach is the uses. Here are some of the uses of bleaching powder;

  • Bleaching powder is in the laundry used to bleach dirty clothes. It is also used in the textile industry as a bleaching agent for linen and cotton.
  • Bleaching powder is a strong oxidizing agent and can serve as an oxidizer in several industries.
  • It can also serve as a disinfectant which can make water drinkable and usable.

Here are the main uses of chlorine powder;

  • Chlorine powder serves as a means of treating water to kill all the bacteria present.
  • Chlorine powder is also used in the manufacturing of plastics and dyes.
  • It can also serve as a disinfectant
  • It is also used in the production of drugs.
  • Chlorine can also be used in the cleaning of swimming pools.

5. Can Bleach Be Used Instead Of Chlorine In Pools?

Yes, bleach can be used instead of chlorine in pools. However, it's dependent on the formulation of the bleach. The bleach that will be used instead of chlorine must have a high percentage of sodium hypochlorite and chlorine available. The higher the percentage, the lesser bleach that'll be needed to be applied to the pool. You should also ensure that the bleach that'll be used will be without any fragrance or other chemicals. This might affect the smell and look of your pool.